in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 8, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of
surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than three years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
Selections from March 8, 2019:
1. Something is seriously wrong
with Donald Trump
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. Cornel West on Bernie, Trump, and
3. Donald Trump's Nuclear Doctrine Threatens Human Life on
4. The Propaganda Multiplier
5. Big Brother Steps Closer as Parents Shackle Teens to Ankle
is seriously wrong with Donald Trump
This article is by
Bob Cesca on Salon. I abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:
I say, for as I have said
before, I haven´t seen Donald Trump´s speech of two hours, and
I still will not do so, both because of Trump and my strong
seeing yet another politicial idiot lying, but there are some
differences between Bob Cesca and myself, for although I too am ¨not a mental health professional, nor am I an
expert in the pharmacological effects of cognitive enhancers¨ I am a psychologist, with
extensive experience of one mad - schizophrenic - person.
If you’ve only watched the clips and highlights from Donald Trump’s CPAC speech last
Saturday, you’re not getting the full picture of the explosive
horror show that is the worsening status of the president’s mental
health. For reasons that defy comprehension, I decided to watch the
whole thing live. At the outset, I tweeted that given the Michael Cohen
testimony in the immediate rear-view mirror, Trump’s CPAC speech was
going to be “next level crazy.” In hindsight, I feel like I low-balled
Before we continue, I’d like to emphasize that I’m not a
mental health professional, nor am I an expert in the pharmacological
effects of cognitive enhancers like Adderall or Provigil to make a
judgment call on the specifics of what’s wrong with the
president. However, I can say with confidence that something’s
extraordinarily wrong with him, and it’s only getting more dangerous
for the nation and by extension the world as time advances.
At CPAC, Trump ricocheted
his prepared teleprompter remarks into what can only be described as a
herky-jerky, stream-of-conscious creepshow -- a Willy Wonka ride into
the dark, twisted world of Trump’s increasingly haunted and scattered
brain. There was sweaty red-faced performance art; American flag
leg-humping; bizarre and often shouty anecdotes leading nowhere;
insults and obscenities directed at his enemies, both real and
imagined; mean-spirited attempts at jokes; unabridged fear-mongering
about infanticide and murderous immigrants; bug-eyed facial contortions
more terrifying than the Momo Challenge; and other kneejerk outbursts
that defy description.
Also, I diagnosed (is, I think, the proper term) Trump more than three
years ago as a megalomaniac (which is the English term for the
personality disorder¨) and I still think
that was the best diagnosis I could make either then or now.
And I believe Bob Cesca. Here is some more by him:
I again mostly agree,
although I do not think myself that American presidents have
been ¨elected partly based on their sobriety and
mental stability¨, although undoubtedly these considerations have
a role, with some.
The president is unfit to
continue serving. This is a crisis.
Indeed, no president
before and especially since Trinity has acted like this in public until Trump.
Why? It’s chiefly because presidents with access to weapons of mass
destruction, specifically an American nuclear arsenal that could
destroy the world a thousand times over, are elected partly based on
their sobriety and mental stability. We need our presidents to have
immensely sound judgment so that the use of the aforementioned nuclear
codes is preceded by sound thought, emotional clarity and informed
deliberation. Trump appears to possess none of these traits. Nor is he
inclined to even fake it. His judgment was never stellar (ask any New
Yorker) and it’s only disintegrating further as the rigors of the job
worsen while law enforcement closes in.
Anyway. Here is some more:
Well... I think I do
psychological expertise¨ (six years of studying it plus an excellent M.A.) and
I think Trump
is a megalomaniac, and probably was one for a long time.
Again, I don’t possess the
psychological expertise to diagnose whether his behavior is
reflective of mental illness or whether it’s a politically-motivated
act for the enjoyment of the Red Hats. If it’s an act, it’s just as
bad, and still perhaps indicative of a mental health condition. In and
of itself, acting like a mentally ill chief executive, a Mad
King, displays an absence of sound judgment, highlighting a disconnect
from social and political norms, as well as telegraphing a profound
degree of ignorance about why such an act is unacceptable.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed. And this is the
proper and commonsensical way of asking yourself when you are
neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist nor a medical doctor whether
somebody might be mad (insane etc.): Does his
behavior and his
words correspond to the behavior and the words of people who are sane?
And Cesca is quite right Trump´s behavior and his words are
extra-ordinary, both for a president and for a non-president.
If I were to quiz Fox News
viewers about Trump’s unspooled madness at CPAC, I’d ask them in
particular whether they’d ever accept this kind of behavior from their
doctor, their kids’ teachers or their own bosses at work; whether
they’d accept it from a member of the clergy or the bus driver who
picks up their children for school every day. The honest response would
have to be no way -- that is unless it’s okay for our
doctors, mid-prostate exam, to snap off a bunch of insulting
impressions of the nursing staff, followed by paranoid threats about
Hollywood types and racist blurts about competing physicians. As
indoctrinated into the Fox News cult as they are, I don’t believe
they’d be OK with that. And if it’s unacceptable conduct for their
doctors and teachers, why on earth is it acceptable for a world leader
cloaked in immense power and backed by the most powerful military in
the history of civilization?
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
normalization of Trump's
unpredictable, spasmodic presidency, as well as the fact that so many
of us don’t have the stomach to tolerate two-plus hours of watching
him, are perhaps the only reasons why more Americans aren’t gathered as
we speak, devising how best to legally remove him from office. For what
it’s worth, I propose here and now that this conversation must begin in
Yes, I mostly agree - but then I did so first over
three years ago, and did so as a psychologist who knows how little most
non-psychologists know of either psychology or madness. And this is a strongly
Trump’s obvious mental
instability and emotionally erratic behavior has reached a harrowing
new depth. They need to be addressed by our political leadership with
the same urgency as the myriad investigations into his crimes. This has
to begin now before it’s too late. He will clearly do and say whatever
it takes to secure his status, and it’s the presidency alone that’s
keeping him out of federal prison. He’s at least competent enough to
understand this, and he might be crazy enough to do anything to avoid
West on Bernie, Trump, and Racism
This article is by
Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Here is some
In 2015, Bernie Sanders
insurgent candidate — an outsider and underdog with little money and
very little name recognition. Four years later, he finds himself a
frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and
one of the most popular politicians in America. Many have
attributed Sanders’ loss to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries
to a poor showing among black voters, and Sanders has since worked
hard to make inroads there, incorporating themes of racial
discrimination and inequality into his campaign messaging. Yet
questions persist about whether or not Bernie Sanders has a “race
problem.” One of Sanders’ most prominent African-American surrogates in
his last run for the White House was philosopher and political activist
Dr. Cornel West, who continues to argue that black America should
embrace “Brother Bernie.” On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan and West
discuss Sanders’ presidential chances and how he has progressed on race
Yes, I think Cornel West
is right about that: Bernie Sanders is one of the very few
politicians who is credible as a real leftist and as democratic
socialist, for the simple reason that he has been a real leftist and a democratic
socialist for over 40 years.
Mehdi Hasan: Welcome
to Deconstructed. I’m Mehdi Hasan. I’m excited today, and I hope you
are too, because my guest is someone very special, who I’ve been
wanting to interview for a while now, and not just because he appeared
in the Matrix movies. He’s one of the most prominent supporters of
Senator Bernie Sanders, who formally declared his candidacy for
president of the United States this past weekend.
CW: He’s an
anti-racist in his heart. He has a consistency over the years, decade
after decade, going to jail in Chicago as a younger brother, and he
would go to jail again. He and I would go to jail together again.
Here is some more from the article:
Yes indeed: I completely
agree. Here is some more:
MH: (..) You, Dr.
famously endorsed brother Bernie over Hillary Clinton back in 2016.
Will you be backing him again this time around?
CW: Well, as you
know, I was blessed to do over a hundred events for my dear brother.
And this is the first time I’ve had a chance to publicly endorse him
again, but yes, indeed. I’ll be in his corner that we’re going to win
this time. And it has to do with the Martin Luther King like criteria
of assessing a candidate namely the issues of militarism, poverty,
materialism, and racism, xenophobia in all of its forms that includes
any kind of racism as you know against black people, brown people,
yellow people, anybody, Arabs, Muslims, Jews, Palestinians,
Kashmirians, Tibetans and so forth. So that there’s no doubt that my
dear brother Bernie stands shoulders above any of the other candidates
running in the Democratic primary when it comes to that Martin Luther
King-like standards or criteria.
Yes, I agree on Elizabeth
Warren but do not know enough about Cory Booker. Here is the
last bit I
quote from this article:
CW: (..) I mean,
have respect for my dear sister Elizabeth Warren. I’ve got love for
Cory. I’ve known brother Cory Booker for 20 some, 25 years or so. And
he’s a liberal and I, you know, I’m more than a liberal but I can still
love my brother. Elizabeth Warren is very progressive. I respect my
dear sister. But Bernie Sanders is the best that we have of this group
and he’s the real thing in terms of being consistent.
I more or less agree,
although I probably would have answered differently, namely as follows:
It may become a problem, but there is no sign of that as yet,
have to compare the alternative, which is four years of an utterly
irresponsible madman as president. And ths is a strongly
MH: (..) I’ve got to
ask the age question. What do you say to critics who say Bernie Sanders
is too old to be present? You can’t have a president who’s 79 at the
start of his first term and 83 at the start of his second. What’s your
response to them?
CW: Now, I say
Bernie Sanders, he’s full of fire, full of energy, in good health, and
there’s no doubt that he can put in four, if not eight, actually.
Trump's Nuclear Doctrine Threatens Human Life on Earth
This article is by
Nate Singham on Truthdig and originally on the Independent Media
Institute. This starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Here is some
President Donald Trump has
made some very significant policy decisions since entering office that
have undermined nuclear non-proliferation on a global level. The two
most notable examples include Trump’s withdrawal from a key bilateral
nuclear weapons treaty with Russia and his decision to leave the
Iranian nuclear deal.
Trump announced this
January that he would initiate a six-month withdrawal process that
would see the United States quitting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear
Forces (INF) treaty with Russia, claiming a number of violations by
The United States has
alleged that Russia has been violating the terms of the INF agreement
for several years with the expansion and deployment of 2,000 km-range
nuclear-capable ground-launched missiles, also referred to as SSC-8 by
These claims have been
repeatedly rejected by Moscow.
Yes indeed. Incidentally, there are
statistics in this article, which I will partially
concerns the estimated global nuclear warheads in November 2018:
In response to Trump’s
announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin fired back by saying
that the Kremlin would
exit the Cold War-era treaty, which restricts both countries from
deploying missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
The situation is compounded
by the fact that the New START agreement, a separate bilateral treaty,
which limits the stockpiles and launch platforms that both countries
can deploy, is due to expire in 2021, with neither country is likely to
In light of these trends,
during the 2019 UN Conference on Disarmament, Secretary-General Antonio
the United States and Russia to extend the New START treaty,
describing it as “one of the hallmarks of international security for 50
During his remarks, the
Secretary-General went on to warn, “I will be blunt. Key components of
the international arms control architecture are collapsing.”
Given the current policy
direction, peace activists have been quick to point out that for the
first time in half a century, U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals will
not be bound to any bilaterally negotiated oversights.
Number of nuclear warheads
I do not know how correct this is, but it looks decent
(and indeed many
are estimates rather than certainties).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes indeed. And this is a strongly
In short, these aggressive
and short-sighted policy gestures by Donald Trump have sparked serious
concern among nuclear non-proliferation advocates that such decisions
could trigger a chain reaction of nuclear proliferation in various
non-nuclear states, most notably Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Korea, and
The renewal of the nuclear
arms race carries the threat of our extinction.
“We are one mechanical,
electronic or human error away from a catastrophe that could eradicate
entire cities from the map,” Guterres noted while
speaking at a disarmament conference in Geneva.
This article is by
Swiss Propaganda Research. It was first published in 2016, but it only
now got translated by Terje Maloy. Also, it is much too long to
be excerpted properly on NL, but it is quite interesting. It
starts as follows:
It is one of the most
important aspects of our media system – and yet hardly known to the
public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is
provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London
The key role played by
these agencies means that Western media often report on the same
topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military
and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers
to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war
coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these
issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency
reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion
pieces and interviews were in favor of the US and NATO intervention,
while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.
Yes, I think all of the above
is quite correct. Here is more from the article:
So what are the names of
these news agencies that are “always at the source of the story”? There
are now only three global agencies left:
- The American
Associated Press (AP) with over 4000 employees worldwide.
The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office
in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media
outlets, reaching more than half of the world’s population every day.
- The quasi-governmental
French Agence France-Presse (AFP) based in Paris and
with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos
every day to media all over the world.
- The British agency Reuters
in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people.
Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson –
one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters, headquartered in New
In addition, many countries
run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international
news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy
and translate their reports.
Yes, I think again all of the
above is quite correct. Here is some more:
In fact, not only the text,
but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in
our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the
uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local
newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York,
London and Paris.
Some media have even gone a
step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire
foreign editorial office to an agency.
In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking
similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our
media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a
phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with »controlled
media« in authoritarian states.
Again I think all of the
above is correct - and here is a whole lot more, namely nearly
and it is all very strongly recommended.
Brother Steps Closer as Parents Shackle Teens to Ankle Monitors
This article is
by Jean Trounstine on Truthout. It starts as follows:
A perfect example of George
Orwell’s terrifying view of a society under government surveillance has
arrived in the form of ankle monitors for your teens.
For parents who “need to
keep track of [their] teenager at all times,” Tampa
Bay Monitoring in Clearwater, Florida, is selling GPS tracking —
similar to the shackles used to track those on parole — billed as a way
for parents to have “peace of mind” and for so-called troubled teens to
have “protection.” Never mind that these monitors function as a form of
private surveillance, enabling parents and anyone else with access to
shadow a teen’s every move. Besides, these devices can be uncomfortable
and can cause problems at airports, hospitals and schools, and many
people have concerns about where all the tracking information goes and
who has access to it.
Yes, I think the above is quite
correct. And as to the ¨many
people [who] have concerns about where all the tracking information
goes and who has access to it¨: I
think all ¨security organizations¨ of any country which has them,
and Google, Facebook and probably several hundreds more of rich
corporations also will know everything about the teens who
shackled with these horrible tools.
Here is more on spying on
children and teens:
Yes indeed - and besides: Orwell
could not have dreamed of the horrors the internet enables. It is all
much worse than he ever thought, indeed not because he was irrealistic,
but because he died in 1950.
Tampa Bay Monitoring isn’t
the only company in on the action. Such for-profit companies have
proliferated. The company GPS
Monitoring Solutions in Arizona and California says that it, too,
will gladly provide parents with login credentials to their monitoring
center so they can track their children. AngelSense is using
monitors to supposedly “[create] a safer world” for teens with
disabilities, and SafetyNet
says it is using law enforcement and radio frequency for the purpose of
“protecting people and locating the lost.”
As carceral technology
extends itself further and further into family life, we must ask if
such intrusive information-gathering is a substitute for solving the
One thing is for sure:
Orwell’s famous words in his dystopian novel, 1984, are all
the more relevant in 2019, and all the more ominous: “Big Brother is
And this article ends (after a lot more) as follows:
Well, yes - but who would want
to surveil their teens with tools that are so far
only used for
adult people who merited prison sentences, where these tools differ
tools used for
people who merited prison sentences in that they share their
information not only with the parents but with hundreds of others, who
may do what they please with it?! And this is a strongly
What is clear is that we
surveilling our loved ones to squelch fears of drug abuse, abduction,
runaways and harmful behaviors, instead of addressing drug policy,
poverty, ableism and other forms of social alienation.
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 3 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).